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Crawford: Don't Let Sprint Buy T-Mobile
by Karl Bode 04:17PM Tuesday Jun 10 2014
Not too surprisingly, lawyer and telecom consumer advocate Susan Crawford isn't too impressed with Sprint's attempt to acquire T-Mobile. Crawford has annoyed all the right people the last year or two in her criticism of the uncompetitive U.S. broadband market, and in a piece over at Bloomberg laments how eliminating T-Mobile from the equation will only make our current "duopoly with a fringe" wireless market worse.

While Sprint claims that eliminating a competitor somehow creates more competition, Crawford's quick to note out it probably won't shake out that way:
quote:
Sprint, with about 16 percent market share, argues that combining with T-Mobile (13 percent) will create a viable third player. But if a Sprint/T-Mobile deal is approved, the combined entity will have less incentive to be disruptive and more incentive to raise prices than either of them have now as separate businesses...Whatever "synergies" -- such as eliminating duplication -- Sprint and T-Mobile might capture by combining wouldn't necessarily be passed on to consumers in the form of lower prices. And those savings are likely outweighed by the harm to competition such a merger would cause.
Crawford argues that AT&T and Verizon win either way: either the merger is approved and they face one less competitor, or the two companies get bogged down in the regulatory and business logistics of getting deal approval, which means they'll spend less time competing. As noted last week though, Deutsche Telekom has long wanted out of the U.S. wireless market, and T-Mobile's disruption (and especially John Legere's punk rock attitude) may just be a stage play put on to make a sale happen.

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fiosultimate

join:2014-06-09
San Antonio, TX

damm if u do damm if u dont

So explain to me again, att and verizon win either way, so why should we care?arent we here in favor of making att and verizon sad?? They are people after all
floydb1982

join:2004-08-25
Kent, WA

Re: damm if u do damm if u dont

I like the cheap prices that come with the T-Mobile service. U can take a T-Mobile phone and use on the AT&T network. U can Take an AT&T phone and use it on T-Mobile network. Sprint locks down the phones the offer to work only on there CDMA network. Sprint charges a whole lot more for there service. In the end I hope that Sprint can buy out T-Mobile. I like T-Mobile because they offer great coverage in King County, WA and it's cheap. I'm paying for the unlimited talk & text for $35 from T-Mobile. That is a price I can afford. U can't get such pricing with Sprint At. Please Sprint don't buy out T-Mobile.
ocjosh

join:2013-03-19
united state
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
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Re: damm if u do damm if u dont

The merger might be good for consumers only if the costs to merger is low. Then the combine company won't be in a bigger financial hole to bring the competitions on network upgrade or lower the price.

How can 2 bad shape in finance companies bring any disruptive move? Yes, it's a stage play for T-Mobile to put themselves for sell.

Sprint was in a good shape years ago before Nextel, XOHM, and overpay Clear shareholders. All earnings gone to mis-steps in telecom directions. No matter they were good buy or bad, they are in bugger debts each time.

Why don't they use some of those merger money to upgrade, improve service and cheaper rate and phones? That makes more sense to get more customers.
floydb1982

join:2004-08-25
Kent, WA

Re: damm if u do damm if u dont

Last I heard T-Mobile was $9 billion in debt and Sprint $26 billion in debt. This can't be a good thing for Sprint at all. Sprint can't afford to buy T-Mobile.
Rakeesh

join:2011-10-30
Mesa, AZ

Re: damm if u do damm if u dont

Sprint is also on the hook for a billion dollars when the merger falls through.

MDA

join:2013-09-10
Minneapolis, MN
Reviews:
·Comcast
said by floydb1982:

In the end I hope that Sprint can buy out T-Mobile. Please Sprint don't buy out T-Mobile.

That's a bit contradictory.

I hope you mean "In the end, I'd rather have T-Mobile buy out Sprint". Either way, neither should buy each other.
brianiscool

join:2000-08-16
Tampa, FL
kudos:1

T-Mobile

There services has degraded so much. Ever since they bought out MetroPCS where
the customer's leech the service.
Rakeesh

join:2011-10-30
Mesa, AZ

Re: T-Mobile

How so? The MetroPCS users don't even use the same towers as tmobile; the modulation technology is incompatible (TMobile uses UMTS, which is TDMA, whereas MetroPCS uses CDMA2000.)
brad152

join:2006-07-27
Phoenix, AZ
Reviews:
·CenturyLink

Re: T-Mobile

Since day one, any new or swapped device uses T-Mobile's network. How else do you think you're able to all of a sudden buy MetroPCS here in Phoenix? They sure as hell did not put up a CDMA network overnight.

T-Mobile is shutting down metro's network and doing a forced migration soon, as most Metro customers are already on the GSM network by now.

pixxt

join:2010-12-13
Dearborn, MI
said by brianiscool:

There services has degraded so much. Ever since they bought out MetroPCS where
the customer's leech the service.

Huh? What? MetroPCS users do not leech any more Verizon customers leech from Verizon, And AT&T customers leech from At&T.

And if services are degraded the last people to blame are the customers.
biochemistry
Premium
join:2003-05-09
92361

No

The best way to encourage disruption in the marketplace is to stick with 4 major carriers. If DT wants out of the market so badly, they can sell to a company that is not named AT&T, Verizon or Sprint and they will find that sale a lot more palatable to regulators and consumers. Sprint has money and bandwidth. If they just spent that $$ on expanding their coverage and put someone younger and more innovative than Dan Hesse in charge, they would find their marketshare increasing.
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ISurfTooMuch

join:2007-04-23
Tuscaloosa, AL

Re: No

Indeed! Stop sitting around and grow the damn network already!

Oh, and stop selling bandwidth to every two-bit MVNO out there. No wonder 3G speeds are in the toilet.

firephoto
We the people
Premium
join:2003-03-18
Brewster, WA

Re: No

That's probably impossible. If you researched FCC radio licenses you'd probably find that it would be impossible for Sprint or T-mobile to operate their own network in certain areas of the country because AT&T and or Verizon have everything locked up or traded to each other in every large to tiny market.

This isn't a market where you can just roll out of bed and put up a cell tower, there are many huge obstacles intentionally erected by the huge incumbents.
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cb14

join:2013-02-04
Miami Beach, FL
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Absolutely agreed. However, no other company then an aspiring monopolist who expects less competition thus much higher profits would pay the price DT wants. That's why they want to keep the minority stake- guess how much that will be worth once the New Sprint becomes exactly like Verizon or Tea.
Since that Japanese bought Sprint, nothing happened. Sprint could have shown us how the New Sprint would work and how innnovative and disruptive it would be. They chose not to bother or even pretend.
On the other hand, they do not trust ther process either, that;'s why they agreed to only 1 billion which is quite frankly peanuts which barely covers the damage TMO will incur after prolonged period in limbo.
Sprint will be in a big trouble if the deal does not go through. there is not a single good reason to be their customer.
But we need 4 national providers. Examples from European countries show that you have near no competition with only 3 providers left.

Tsume
Premium
join:2004-02-23
Johnson City, TN
Reviews:
·Comcast

Re: No

If you are in a market where T-Mobile is crap and Sprint isn't (which is more areas than you think) then there are still reasons to be a Sprint customer. Still cheaper than VZW and AT&T.
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josephf

join:2009-04-26
Reviews:
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Stronly opposed to merger, unless...

The merger is anti-competitive, will reduce competition - not enhance it as the absurd argument forwarded by the parties claim - and most serious for concern is it will raise prices.

The only way this merger should be allowed to go through is if the Sprint and T-Mobile agree to low price plans for their service. For example, should they agree to offer an unlimited voice (and text) plan for $25/month as well as offer an unlimited voice/text and unlimited (or 5GB/month) 4G data for $30/month and offer unlimited voice/text/LTE data (or 5GB/month of LTE) for $35/month -- and agree to offer all these plans a) without a contract (and they will provide no subsidized equipment) and b) available at the same price in post-paid and prepaid options and c) immediately upon merger available on both the Sprint and on the T-Mobile networks (and once combined on the combined network) and d) they agree to offer these plans for at least 5 years, then I believe the merger is supportable. With these conditions it will force lower pricing in the cellular industry.
elray

join:2000-12-16
Santa Monica, CA

Not impressed either, but if Crawford thinks its wrong...

I'm going to have to take a closer look.

She is remarkably clueless.
sonicmerlin

join:2009-05-24
Cleveland, OH
kudos:1

Re: Not impressed either, but if Crawford thinks its wrong...

You're one to speak.

atuarre
Here come the drums
Premium
join:2004-02-14
Conroe, TX

RE

If regulators do not allow one of the other 3 to purchase T-Mobile, some VC firm or investment group is just going to get together and buy T-Mobile and then sunset the network, and sell the spectrum to one of the big 3.
compton

join:2002-02-08
Brooklyn, NY

Re: RE

said by atuarre:

If regulators do not allow one of the other 3 to purchase T-Mobile, some VC firm or investment group is just going to get together and buy T-Mobile and then sunset the network, and sell the spectrum to one of the big 3.

The venture capitalist firm will have to pay about $30 billion dollars to acquire T-Mobile. Do you really think T-Mobile spectrum is worth $30 billion dollars or more? The answer is no. The most valuable asset T-Mobile has is their (approximately) 40 million customers followed by their spectrum portfolio.
josephf

join:2009-04-26
The FCC must approve (and can reject) a sale of the spectrum to another carrier.
why60loss

join:2012-09-20
Reviews:
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Really sick of the sprint fans at this point

I have not heard one person who even could make a point on why this is a good deal for the customer. Sprint can't seem to even use what it has even close to right and yet wants to sell us on taking even more overhead will fix the fact they can't upgrade well as is.

T-Mobile has done far better at doing what it said it would and adding a bunch of BS fees.

If AT&T couldn't do it, then sprint shouldn't get a pass just because the market feels sorry for it.

T-Mobile is not even close to going under and it is picking up long term steam. Sprint thinks of yesterday, T-Mobile thinks of tomorrow when planning.

Just say no to this deal.
jjeffeory

join:2002-12-04
USA

U.S Cellular

I wonder about US Cellular. I know they're pretty big in some parts of the country like Wisconsin and Maine. Are they the 5th largest carrier right now?

Nobody seems to want them, or did someone already try?

cb14

join:2013-02-04
Miami Beach, FL
Reviews:
·T-Mobile US
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Re: U.S Cellular

said by jjeffeory:

I wonder about US Cellular. I know they're pretty big in some parts of the country like Wisconsin and Maine. Are they the 5th largest carrier right now?

Nobody seems to want them, or did someone already try?

They increasingly suck and I do not believe they will stay around much longer. At this point of time, their take over would not hurt the competition and be rather a blessing for the customers.
binded2

join:2009-08-11
Providence, RI

4 carriers

There should be a law stating that there is 4 national wireless providers plan and simple.
None of the ones now may self off the business as of now as well as selling off of there wireless spectrum. If they don't want or need it only allow them to give it back to the fcc or sell to some one not already a carrier. At which point the spectrum is still not to be sold to one of the major 3 in any shape or form.

Spectrum trade must be of equal value as such to ex close gags in spectrum so there's a continuous frequency. Trade as in no money between each other only a clean trade.

Damn to many thoughts hope this made sense

There should just be 4 at least.

IPPlanMan
Holy Cable Modem Batman

join:2000-09-20
Washington, DC
kudos:1

Network Vision still going?

It's honestly hard to tell if Network Vision is doing anything or still progressing in DC.

LTE deployment in DC appears to be at a standstill. Spark?... Don't get me started.

Say what you will about T-Mobile, its network upgrades have passed Sprint's like a shot. Legere has done amazing things for T-Mobile.

Losing T-Mobile to Sprint will be a dark day. I hope it doesn't happen.
--
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swintec
Premium,VIP
join:2003-12-19
Alfred, ME
kudos:5
Reviews:
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Re: Network Vision still going?

said by IPPlanMan:

Say what you will about T-Mobile, its network upgrades have passed Sprint's like a shot. Legere has done amazing things for T-Mobile.

Apples to oranges. If tmobile ever does a complete tear down and rebuild for all sites then that would be a fair comparison.

Also, Legere had no choice. He was tasked to do one thing. get T-Mobile ready for a sale. Which he has done.
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IPPlanMan
Holy Cable Modem Batman

join:2000-09-20
Washington, DC
kudos:1

Re: Network Vision still going?

If? T-Mobile hasn't had to do that.
What pride is there in needing to entirely scrap a network to build a new one? Why does this need to be fair anyway? Sprint made poor business decisions all along and compounded that by not tasking enough money to the rebuild.

Put Legere in charge of Sprint... He knows the business and T-Mobile is firing on all cylinders.

Let me know when T-Mobile needs to do that complete tear-down and rebuild.

swintec
Premium,VIP
join:2003-12-19
Alfred, ME
kudos:5
Reviews:
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Re: Network Vision still going?

said by IPPlanMan:

What pride is there in needing to entirely scrap a network to build a new one? Why does this need to be fair anyway? Sprint made poor business decisions all along and compounded that by not tasking enough money to the rebuild.

Put Legere in charge of Sprint... He knows the business and T-Mobile is firing on all cylinders.

it doesnt need to be fair under normal circumstances however you made a silly comparison between the two. Ones doing a complete network overhaul / upgrade while the other is not. Of course one would be quicker. is it quicker to build your new PC from the ground up or go to staples and buy one off the shelf?

They didnt task enough money for the rebuild? Since when? Progress has not stopped or slowed at all. Just about all 38,000+ towers have been upgraded in one form or another at this point.

Maybe you missed the memo but once the deal goes through Legere will be in charge of the new company, Softbank USA.
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IPPlanMan
Holy Cable Modem Batman

join:2000-09-20
Washington, DC
kudos:1

Re: Network Vision still going?

You missed my point. Legere could salvage Sprint without a merger being necessary. This would never happen, but it should. Look at how he saved T-Mobile.

Upgrades take less time then a full rebuild, but even this rebuild is taking too long. That's why the guy who was in charge of it (Bob Azzi) got canned, most likely at the behest of SoftBank.
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"We're going to start at one end of (Fallujah), and we're not going to stop until we get to the other. If there's anybody left when that happens, we're going to turn around and we're going to go back and finish it."
Lt. Col. Pete Newell: 1st Inf. US Army

swintec
Premium,VIP
join:2003-12-19
Alfred, ME
kudos:5
Reviews:
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Re: Network Vision still going?

said by IPPlanMan:

You missed my point. Legere could salvage Sprint without a merger being necessary. This would never happen, but it should. Look at how he saved T-Mobile.

he didnt save TMobile though. He prepped it for a sale. He needed quick gains to prop it up to make it attractive. Long term, what he has done is not sustainable. If the merger doesnt go through assuming there is no other suitors out their interested in them, you will probably see a change in their game plan that is more suited for the long term.

Sprint and T-Mobile as they are will not make it in the grand scheme of things going up against the two big guys. Even if TMobile overtakes Sprint in subscriber numbers by a million or two...you still have Sprint and TMobile making up the bottom rung of the big 4 ladder and they are a far cry from the others numbers. Really, all we have is Sprint and T-Mobile pushing the same group of subs back and forth to each other every few years. These companies want growth and it wont happen with the way they are.

If they merge they will have some great things going for them. Softbank USA will get to roam on Softbank in Japan and DT in other parts of the world. DT euro users will get to roam here in the states and i believe Softbank in Japan.

You will also get your beloved Legere as CEO.

We will also get access to the big roaming coalition that sprint is putting together with the smaller regional carriers which helps big time with rural coverage. I think this will happen regardless of the merger though.
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sonicmerlin

join:2009-05-24
Cleveland, OH
kudos:1

Re: Network Vision still going?

Do you work for sprint?

swintec
Premium,VIP
join:2003-12-19
Alfred, ME
kudos:5

Re: Network Vision still going?

said by sonicmerlin:

Do you work for sprint?

No.

Tsume
Premium
join:2004-02-23
Johnson City, TN
Reviews:
·Comcast
T-Mobile is still HSPA or EDGE here (mostly EDGE). Sprint has LTE everywhere here. T-Mobile's upgrades are a joke depending on where you live. The same can be said about Sprint, but let's not pretend that T-Mobile's upgrades are going so much better or quicker when they are clearly not. We were just out today and my friend couldn't get over 1mbps on HSPA with T-Mobile. I was getting 10mbps on Sprint LTE, which is not great, but also way better than T-Mobile anywhere in this area.
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to whoever anonymously gave me premium membership... thanks!
sonicmerlin

join:2009-05-24
Cleveland, OH
kudos:1

Re: Network Vision still going?

Why is 10 Mbps on a wireless connection "not great"...? You planning on streaming 4K Netflix or something?

Jon Geb
Wal-Mart Sucks

join:2001-01-09
Howell, MI

We need 3 equal footed carriers

Since ATT has become more of a threat, Verizon has been forced to offer better subsidizing. Verizon prices have dropped a small amount because of this, if you know how to do it.

Buying a Verizon phone on eBay can result in lower bills, before it couldnt.
sonicmerlin

join:2009-05-24
Cleveland, OH
kudos:1

Re: We need 3 equal footed carriers

3 carriers would just collude. The evidence in numerous other countries speaks for itself.
Papageno

join:2011-01-26
Portland, OR

T-Mobile has a decent prepaid plan...

which I hope doesn't go away, perfect for occasional cell phone users like me--I have a POTS landline at home and a phone at my desk, plus I'm in my early 50s and single so I don't need a 95 dollar/month monkey on my back smartphone.
Instead I got into their 100 bucks for 1000 minutes plan where you can use them over a year, with no BS "per day you use it" charges, and if you buy a minimum amount more of minutes at the year mark you can roll over unused minutes.
Also use their prepaid mobile broadband which gives me 3 GB for 20/month and use it with my iPod Touch and Nexus 7. It's a great value.